Nashville Cessna 172 Crash Pilot Was Legally Drunk

The mysterious early morning crash of a Cessna 172 on October 29 just became a little less mysterious. Canadian pilot Michael Callan's blood alcohol level (BAC) has been reported by the Tennessee state medical examiner as 0.081 percent — more than twice the FAA limit of 0.040 percent and just in excess of Tennessee's threshold for drunk driving. Callan crashed in the wee hours of the morning in thick fog, and his burned Skyhawk was not discovered until several hours later.

The pilot departed hours earlier from Windsor, Ontario, in the club-owned Cessna. Callan then canceled his flight plan to nearby Pelee Island. He crossed the border without any radio contact and flew more than 500 miles to Nashville International Airport, where he circled for an undetermined amount of time before attempting to land. The airplane ended up off the side of the runway where it caught fire.

Callan, who died of blunt impact trauma in the crash, had a criminal record of violent bank robberies committed in the 1990s and had listed country music star Taylor Swift as his next of kin, though the singer denies any relation to the pilot.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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